The Devils travelled to Coventry on Saturday night to face the Blaze in front of a packed out Skydome Arena. Ryan Penny and Sam Jardine were both out with injuries, although both could return next weekend for the playoffs.
After a scoreless opening twenty minutes, the Blaze opened up a two goal lead in the second period and never looked back. JD Dudek opened the scoring at 32:54 then just over a minute later, Alex Forbes snuck the puck through traffic to beat Bowns at 34:04 to make it 2-0. The Devils pressed hard to find a way past Paavo Holsa, but the period ended with the Blaze up by two.
Tyler Kirkup extended the lead for the Blaze at 43:42 when he faked a pass then fired the puck between the legs of Bowns to make it 3-0.
The Devils had their chances, particularly on the powerplay, but they went 0-4 with the man advantage on the night and gave up a shorthanded goal at 54:03 to Kirkup who stripped a misplayed puck off the Devils and blasted a slapshot through Bowns to make it 4-0 with his second goal of the game.
The Devils got one back late in the game to ruin the shutout for Pavel Hossa. Trevor Cox set up Cole Sanford for his 38th league goal of the season to make it 4-1 at 58:36. Moments later, an awkward bounce of the boards saw the puck pop out onto the stick of Chad Pietroniro who hammered in his first goal as a Devil to make it 4-2 at 59:08, but that was as close as the Devils would get. The Blaze held on for the 4-2 win, which means the two teams will meet next weekend in the playoff quarterfinals.
Photos courtesy of Scott Wiggins